- About the Exhibit
- Empires and Revolutions: 1613–1825
- Trade with Spanish America: 1825-1900
- Cultural Encounters: 1825-1900
- Political Encounters: 1850-1930
- An Hispano Landscape: 1900–45
Spanish Speakers in New York
Political turmoil and economic crises pushed Spaniards and Latin Americans to New York City throughout the 1800s. Cubans in particular fled northward during the long battle for independence from Spain. But poets, educators, and politicians from Mexico to Argentina also headed to New York, some for as little as a season, others for years on end. The city was more than simply a refuge; it was an attraction in its own right. New York was a beacon of modern life, a center for publishing and communications, and a place to do business or get an education without traveling to Europe.
Latin Americans and Spaniards took in New York's crowds, shopping, and social life, observed American institutions, and communicated their insights to compatriots through letters, travel accounts, and newspaper articles. These accounts make clear that while they sought and found inspiration for enhancing freedom and progress back home, they also were keenly aware of the city's faults, notably its rampant inequalities. They frequently longed for the comforts—and warmth—of home.